November 3, 2021
To Governor Hochul for signing S5023A to help animals suffering from abuse.
The sad reality is animal cruelty occurs daily in some homes throughout the United States. At the beginning of 2021, New York Senator Michael Gianaris (D-District 12) sponsored a bill to help bring to light animals suffering from abuse at the hands of their owners with S5032A. According to a news article, this bill was signed by Governor Hochul and will require veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse to law enforcement. Unfortunately, some veterinarians are hesitant to report suspected abuse fearing they may misinterpret injuries and receive retaliation from the suspected animal abusers.
The American Veterinary Medical Association’s Summary Report for reporting animal abuse reviews the voluntary, mandatory, and non-existent laws currently in place in the United States.1 Thanks to Governor Hochul’s signature, New York will join 20 other states (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) that have mandatory reporting laws. An immunity clause has also been included to protect veterinarians from any repercussions for reporting suspected abuse. Only a dozen states, previously listed, include immunity clauses. This inclusion is vital in giving veterinarians a safety net when reporting injuries sustained from possible abuse.
Take Action: New York residents, please thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill to help bring animal abuse to light.
1. American Veterinary Medical Association Division of State Advocacy. “Summary Report for Reporting Requirements for Animal Abuse.” Oct. 2021, https://www.avma.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/Reporting-requirements_for-animal-abuse.pdf.